Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 29, 2007
Blood stem cells fight invaders, study finds
Researchers have discovered that blood stem cells are capable of patrolling the body's organs where they seek out, and respond to, pathogens.

Helium isotopes point to new sources of geothermal energy
By measuring helium isotope ratios in fluids at the surface, geochemists Mack Kennedy of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Matthijs van Soest of Arizona State University have discovered a new tool for identifying potential geothermal energy resources.

New research discredits $100B global warming 'fix'
Scientists have revealed an important discovery that raises doubts concerning the viability of plans to fertilize the ocean to solve global warming, a projected $100 billion venture.

Rhode Island Hospital news tips from Radiological Society of North America 2007 annual meeting
Rhode Island Hospital radiologists present innovative research on adrenal masses and CT scans, radiofrequency ablation and kidney tumors, and microwave ablation and lung tumors at the Radiological Society of North America 2007 annual meeting Nov.

Outbreak of tropical disease in nontropical area emphasizes need for preparedness and response
A chikungunya virus outbreak in Italy -- a temperate country not usually affected by such viruses -- emphasizes the need for preparedness and response to emerging infectious threats as globalization increases.

University of Pennsylvania study reveals inconspicuous hosts in the Lyme disease epidemic
A study led by a University of Pennsylvania biologist in the tick-infested woods of the Hudson Valley is challenging the widely held belief that mice are the main animal reservoir for Lyme disease in the US.

Pre-school program shown to improve key cognitive functions, self-control
An innovative curriculum for pre-schoolers may improve academic performance, reduce diagnoses of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, and close the achievement gap between children from poor families and those from wealthier homes, according to research led by a Vancouver neuroscientist who is an expert in the development of cognitive function.

Agriculture experts meet in Beijing to examine impacts of food prices and climate change on farmers
The world's largest alliance of agricultural researchers, economists and policy experts will meet Dec.

Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury
University of Florida researchers say certain club drugs trigger a chemical chain reaction in the brain similar to what occurs during traumatic brain injury, leading to cell death, memory loss and potentially irreversible brain damage.

Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism
They are often overlooked, and were once thought to be too small to contribute much to major cellular processes, but in recent years the study of small ribonucleic acids has gained momentum.

Follow-up imaging of benign-appearing incidental adrenal masses is unnecessary
If adrenal masses are found incidentally during a CT scan, and the masses look benign, they do not require additional imaging follow-up, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Astronomers find stellar cradle where planets form
Astronomers at the University of Illinois have found the first clear evidence for a cradle in space where planets and moons form.

10 million drips: Nursing research to review common hospital practice
Painful, time-consuming, costly and wasteful -- that's what some experts think about the practice of routinely removing and reinserting the peripheral catheters or

European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
University of Helsinki researchers say European Union forests are expanding and absorbing carbon at a higher than expected rate.

Studies of 20,000 smokers show quit rates double with counseling and free nicotine patches
Studies of 20,000 smokers show increasing the level of Quitline smoking cessation services and offering free nicotine patches are a successful and cost-effective way to reduce smoking rates, according to new studies in the December issue of Tobacco Control, a peer-reviewed publication of the British Medical Journal.

Dec. 7 public seminar on science and exploration in Huntsville, Ala.
As its next installment in a year-long series of public seminars and colloquia, the National Research Council's Space Studies Board presents a lecture titled

Racial and ethnic differences in the biology of breast cancer tumors
Scientists from the National Cancer Institute are looking into the racial and ethnic differences in the biology of breast cancer tumors and are presenting their findings this week at the American Association for Cancer Research conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, being held Nov.

Long-term improvement seen with hip replacement
A new study examined patients after an average of eight years following hip replacement and found a long-term positive impact on their physical functioning.

Researchers predict pensions catastrophe
Recent increases in our longevity could have disturbing implications for the government, pension companies and life insurance industries.

German-Brazilian measuring instruments partnership
An agreement between Germany and Brazil will now be able to strengthen the trade relations between these countries.

Out-of-hours doctors reluctant to do home visits, say patients
Research has shown that patients in the UK feel that British doctors are reluctant to do out-of-hours home visits.

December Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: onset of plate tectonics on Earth; Arctic Ocean's role in the global climate system; cause of the end-Permian mass extinction; Olduvai Basin lake cycles and survival of early hominins; an ancient mantle plume and the break-up of Rodinia; relationship between earthquakes and melting glaciers; monitoring Mt.

Stroke study to add patients who cannot give immediate consent
A Los Angeles countywide research study examining whether magnesium sulfate can protect stroke victims' brains when administered by paramedics within two hours of stroke onset is now expanding to include patients who cannot give their immediate consent.

Workshops on biotechnology and water for science journalists
There are still some places available on two international workshops for science journalists that the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) is organizing at the start of 2008.

Pennsylvania Hospital surgeon receives grant to develop molecular cardiac surgery
Dr. Charles Bridges, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital received a $3 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to expand upon his cutting-edge research into

Vascular biologists make a significant discovery in neurobiology
Researchers investigating blood vessels at Barts and the London School of Medicine have hit upon a new discovery in neurobiology that could have implications for patients experiencing peripheral nerve disorders.

New study shows low-income families face 3 barriers to health care
There are so many problems in our health care delivery system and its financing structure that even families who have health insurance are having problems getting care as well as paying for it, according to a recent study by an Oregon Health & Science University family physician.

Homeless cells find temporary lodging -- and their demise
When human cells wander in suspension, free of their normal attachments, many of them launch invasions into their neighbors.

McGill researchers link enzyme to breast cancer malignancy
McGill University researchers have uncovered the crucial role played by the enzyme focal adhesion kinase in the onset of breast cancer.

Rodent fossils allows to determine climate of the Iberian Peninsula 6 million years ago
A researcher of the Universidad de Granada has discovered three new rodent species which inhabited the Guadix basin in the upper Turoliense and the Pliocene.

Having the climate cake and eating it, too
Is it possible to solve climate change, reduce poverty and save biodiversity at a single stroke?

Indigenous water frogs under threat
Indigenous water frogs can be crowded out by immigrant or imported species.

Springer launches new journal in musculoskeletal medicine
Springer will launch Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine in March 2008.

ESF's 1st Science Policy Conference ponders questions on era, global research area
Never mind the politics of a superstate, just consider the scientific challenge that faces Europe.

MRE could provide a definitive diagnosis for people with muscle pain, Mayo Clinic study shows
An estimated nine million men and women in the United States live with myofascial pain syndrome, a condition marked by pain that permeates muscles in the neck, back and shoulders.

Higher cholesterol raises heart disease mortality but not independently linked to stroke mortality
Higher total blood cholesterol is associated with increased ischaemic heart disease mortality in both middle and old age and at all blood pressure levels.

Carnegie Mellon receives $14.4 million to develop next-generation autonomous ground vehicle
Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute has won a $14.4 million contract to develop an advanced, autonomous unmanned ground vehicle for the US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Identifying patients at high risk for total hip replacement
A new study examined patients with hip pain to determine their disease progression and to find out how many underwent total hip replacement over the course of several years.

Special grants get new researchers off the ground
The benefits of special grants designed to give talented new researchers a

Southern California institutions to collaborate on stem cell research
Southern California institutions have joined forces to advance stem cell research by establishing the Southern California Stem Cell Scientific Collaboration (SC3).

Holiday wishes from the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble has sent back an early Christmas card with this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the nearby spiral galaxy Messier 74.

Wildlife Conservation Society study finds seasonal seas save corals with 'tough love'
Finally, some good news about the prospects of coral reefs in the age of climate change.

Researchers develop better membranes for water treatment, drug delivery
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new generation of biomimetic membranes for water treatment and drug delivery.

New treatment for age-related macular degeneration within sight
With 8 million people at high risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration, researchers from Harvard and Japan discovered that the experimental drug, endostatin, may be the cure.

Cancer patients may benefit from reporting symptoms online in real time
A new study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center finds that even the sickest cancer patients are willing and able to

How our ancestors were like gorillas
Research published in this week's Science journal shows that some of our closest extinct relatives had more in common with gorillas than previously thought.

Antibody responses in patients with Lyme arthritis
Findings indicate that joint inflammation persists in patients with antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis after the disease-spreading spirochetes have been killed.

Meniscal damage and the development of persistent knee pain
Meniscal damage does often not directly provoke knee symptoms.

Eczema sufferers test out benefits of water softeners
In the very first trial of its kind in the world over 300 families are being recruited to find out if water softeners can help in the treatment of childhood eczema.

New developments in biomarkers for epithelial ovarian cancer
With the genomic revolution radical improvement has been made in methods of detection of ovarian cancer.

Canada to join Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
The Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources, and the Honorable Maxime Bernier, minister of Foreign Affairs, announced today that Canada has accepted an invitation to join the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

New rapid chlamydia test could enable 'test and treat' strategy
Wellcome Trust-funded researchers have successfully completed the clinical trial for a new rapid test for the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia.

Galapagos and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announce drug discovery collaboration
Galapagos NV and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., the nonprofit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, announced today a new collaboration aimed at discovering new treatments for cystic fibrosis.

In promiscuous antelopes, the 'battle of the sexes' gets flipped
In some promiscuous species, sexual conflict runs in reverse, reveals a new study published online on Nov.

Oosight microscope enables embryonic stem cell breakthrough
A noninvasive, polarized light microscope invented at the Marine Biological Laboratory played a crucial role in the successful derivation of stem cells from cloned monkey embryos as reported in the Nov.

Test Japanese encephalitis vaccine shown to be immunogenic and safe
A new test vaccine to protect against the Japanese encephalitis virus has proven immunogenic and safe in a randomized trial.

New heart test to save time, money -- and lives
A new test could give doctors a head start in diagnosing those patients most likely to suffer a heart attack.

Youngest solar systems detected by U-M astronomers
Astronomers at the University of Michigan have found what are believed to be some of the youngest solar systems yet detected.

Flies' evasive move traced to sensory neurons
When fruit fly larvae are poked or prodded, they fold themselves up and corkscrew their bodies around, a behavior that appears to be the young insects' equivalent of a

Scientists solve cosmological puzzle
Researchers using supercomputer simulations have exposed a very violent and critical relationship between interstellar gas and dark matter when galaxies are born -- one that has been largely ignored by the current model of how the universe evolved.

Biological markers of prostate cancer shed light on cancer burden faced by African-American men
Researchers based at Tulane University report the discovery of biological markers of prostate cancer which are involved in the growth of tumor cells, shedding light on the genetic basis for the prostate cancer burden faced by African-American men.

Mass Spectral and GC Data of Drugs, Poisons, Pesticides, Pollutants and Their Metabolites
The gold standard for clinical mass spectral data: The world's most comprehensive reference is now completely redesigned and condensed into two handy volumes and a CD-ROM.

ORNL super water repellent could cause big wave in market
A water repellent developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory outperforms nature at its best and could open a floodgate of commercial possibilities.

10 myths and 1 truth about generalized HIV
A comment in this week's edition of the Lancet argues that, despite substantial progress against AIDS worldwide, we are still losing ground, with new infections dwarfing numbers starting antiretroviral therapy in developing countries.

Hotspots found for chromosome gene swapping
During meiosis, the

University of Arizona's 70-year-old tree-ring laboratory to get new home
The UA Laboratory for Tree-Ring Research, the oldest facility of its kind in the world, is celebrating its 70th anniversary with the announcement of a $9 million gift from Agnese Haury, widow southwest archaeologist Emil Haury, a founder of the lab and former director of the Arizona State Museum.

Stanford researchers produce short-term reversal of skin aging in mice
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have reversed the effects of aging on the skin of mice, at least for a short period, by blocking the action of a single critical protein.

Recipe for a storm: The ingredients for more powerful Atlantic hurricanes
As the world warms, the interaction between the Atlantic Ocean and atmosphere may be the recipe for stronger, more frequent hurricanes.

World AIDS Day
On Dec. 1, the National Institutes of Health joins with people around the globe in commemorating World AIDS Day.

Study: Personality traits influence perceived attractiveness
A new study published in Personal Relationships examines the way in which perceptions of physical attractiveness are influenced by personality.

Wealthy Commonwealth countries urged to help poorer member countries improve infrastructure
Wealthy Commonwealth nations such as the UK should help poorer member states improve vital infrastructure facilities as one of the best ways to lift them out of poverty, a new University of Nottingham report says.

Antiaging skin care: Reversing skin aging by gene blockade
In the Dec. 15 cover story of G&D, a research team led by Dr.
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